South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust Taken Out of Special Measures

I was pleased to be informed today that South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has been taken out of special measures.

The decision has been taken after a team of inspectors from the CQC visited the Trust in June and July 2019. The inspection looked at the quality of the core services, emergency operations, emergency and urgent care and the Trust’s out of hours and NHS 111 Services. A full copy of the report can be found here:

We are hugely indebted to the work of the ambulance service and I would like to congratulate all involved. 

I am very pleased that progress and improvements have been made and I hope this will help to build local residents’ confidence in the service.

The CQC is clear on reasons why the Trust fell short in the past

“During previous inspections in the emergency operation centre, inspectors observed that there was no clear oversight of patients who had fallen or those who had been lying waiting for some time. There was a now new dispatch system in place which gave better oversight to the age of the faller which gave a clearer indication of where the patient was, the environment around them and if they were supported. Staff told inspectors that this enabled them to triage and prioritise.”

Unfortunately this comment from the last inspection rang true with the experience of too many constituents at the time suffering from non-life threatening but still painful accidents. 

I am pleased that, like the CQC, I have seen a real improvement.  However, I am aware that this is ongoing process and I would encourage constituents to continue to write to me about their experience of the South East Coast Ambulance Service, giving as much detail as possible. Where appropriate I will take this up directly with them.